Germany are under pressure to win the FIFA World Cup in Brazil as they step up their preparation for the tournament, says Oliver Bierhoff.
The Germany team manager believes his nation are among the favourites to triumph in the competition and he is pleased with how things are shaping up for the three-time winners.
Joachim Low's men, who qualified top of UEFA Group C with nine wins from 10 matches, will face the United States, Ghana and Portugal in the round-robin phase.
And Bierhoff, who represented his country 70 times, is expecting a tough challenge.
"The pressure is there, of course, and it's not going to be less," the 45-year-old said.
"The desire of us, the fans and also the players is huge to win a title there in Brazil. We know we are one of the favorites, but we know it's a hell of a lot of work.
"We are pretty far in the process of planning. Of course some details still need to be sorted out but we have our time schedule and we have booked our hotels. So we are on a good way."
Sami Khedira is one player who will be hoping to earn a call-up to the squad but he must first overcome an anterior cruciate ligament injury in order to be considered, with Bierhoff confirming that a number of options are being weighed up.
He added: "Everybody has chances. I mean we know the players for quite a while. So for example we know what kind of player Sami Khedira is, what kind of a character he has, his personality.
"But of course it's very important that a player is 100 per cent fit. Despite of that everybody has the same chances."
Matches will be played across Brazil, presenting a logistical issue for teams to overcome, with significant travel time involved in getting between venues.
Bierhoff admits that is something he and his staff will have to manage carefully.
"The distances play a huge role in Brazil," he said. "The last time I was there I travelled 24 hours to get to an accommodation. So you can't get anywhere fast just to check some details. That is not possible.
"And the whole behavior and the art of living is different, so we need help to manage that. But we are prepared and also the FIFA is helping us out. And we will also be prepared so that the climatic distinctions will not affect us."comments